Each Spring our church has an annual all-member “family” retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains at the Mission Springs Conference Center in nearby Scotts Valley (about one hour drive from our home). Since our church has been holding this event at the same camp site for the past ten years, we thought that the familiar setting would provide the perfect opportunity to have our first overnight family trip.
As usual, prior to the trip I did some research on yummy place we could visit along the way. In addition to Gabriella Cafe, which came highly recommended by Min, I noted the River Cafe & Cheese Shop as well as Marianne’s Ice Cream, a longtime local favorite. Ideally, we would head out sometime early Friday afternoon and stop by Gabriella Cafe for a snack before checking in at the retreat center. Then on Saturday during our free time, we would visit Marianne’s Ice Cream and on our way back on Sunday pick up some cheese and salami at the River Cafe & Cheese Shop.
Of course, things never work out the way you plan them*, especially when babies are involved. By the time we finished bathing Noah (in case we couldn’t bath him at the retreat), packing his “entire” closet, and triple-checking everything on my “to do list,” it was already 4 PM in the afternoon.
So needless to say we didn’t make a quick stop at Gabriella Cafe that afternoon and as it turned out, there was no stock-up shopping at River Cafe on Sunday either because we had to go to my niece’s birthday party straight from the retreat. [When did our lives and schedule become so “full?!”]
Mommy being a meanie and tempting Noah with Marianne’s Ice Cream which he can’t have yet
But all in all, I would say our trip was a big success. We had a lovely time and Noah adapted wonderfully for his first overnight trip.
Noah sees the ocean for the first time
We’re thankful to all of the friends and family who made the weekend possible. We really appreciate all of you who volunteered to play with Noah and give us a chance to eat in peace and take breaks. Someday we hope to be able to return the same favor.
In the mean time, maybe some of you will consider traveling with us for our next outing too? ^_^
One of my favorite photos from this trip because it looks like Noah is holding my hand as he experiences his first encounter with the ocean.
*The only thing that worked out as planned on Friday was our produce delivery came “on time” around 1:30 PM. This makes the third timely and smooth delivery. So far so good!